Inconvenient Truth #18: What happened at Abu Ghraib

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(S/NF) The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs)* without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center(JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees “ghost detainees.” On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of “ghost detainees” (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law.

Taguba Report on Abu Ghraib

(From Wikipaedia article):  Beginning in 2004, human rights violations in the form of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (also known as Baghdad Correctional Facility) came to public attention. These acts were committed by military police personnel of the United States Army together with additional US governmental agencies.

Revealed in the Taguba Report, an initial criminal investigation by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command had already been underway, where soldiers of the 320th Military Police Battalion had been charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with prisoner abuse. In 2004, articles describing the abuse, including pictures showing military personnel appearing to abuse prisoners, came to public attention, when a 60 Minutes II news report (April 28) and an article by Seymour M. Hersh in The New Yorker magazine (posted online on April 30 and published days later in the May 10 issue) reported the story.

But, what exactly did the Taguba Report state?  The following findings were reported:

(NOTE:  (S) means that item was classified as “Secret”, another story in itself, as when does mistreatment of prisoners become classified, as being a danger to the security of our country?  It was, in fact, an embarrassment to the Administration, and that is why it was classified.)

From the Report:  (view complete report)6. (S) I find that the intentional abuse of detainees by military police personnel included the following acts:

a. (S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;

b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. (S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

f. (S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

g. (S) Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

h. (S) Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

i. (S) Writing “I am a Rapest” (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

j. (S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. (S) A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

l. (S) Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

m. (S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.

(U) In addition, several detainees also described the following acts of abuse, which under the circumstances, I find credible based on the clarity of their statements and supporting evidence provided by other witnesses (ANNEX 26):(U) Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees;(U) Threatening detainees with a charged 9mm pistol;(U) Pouring cold water on naked detainees;

(U) Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair;

(U) Threatening male detainees with rape;

(U) Allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell;

g. (U) Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick.

h. (U) Using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

(U) SPC Sabrina Harman, 372nd MP Company, stated in her sworn statement regarding the incident where a detainee was placed on a box with wires attached to his fingers, toes, and penis, “that her job was to keep detainees awake.” She stated that MI [Military Intelligence] was talking to CPL Grainer. She stated: “MI wanted to get them to talk.It is Grainer and Frederick’s job to do things for MI [Military Intelligence] and OGA [Other Government Agency, i.e., CIA] to get these people to talk.”b. (U) SGT Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in his sworn statement as follows: “I witnessed prisoners in the MI [Military Intelligence] hold section, wing 1A being made to do various things that I would question morally. In Wing 1A we were told that they had different rules and different SOP [standard operating procedure]  for treatment. I never saw a set of rules or SOP for that section just word of mouth. The Soldier in charge of 1A was Corporal Granier. He stated that the Agents and MI Soldiers would ask him to do things, but nothing was ever in writing he would complain (sic).”When asked why the rules in 1A/1B were different than the rest of the wings, SGT Davis stated: “The rest of the wings are regular prisoners and 1A/B are Military Intelligence (MI) holds.” When asked why he did not inform his chain of command about this abuse, SGT Davis stated: “ Because I assumed that if they were doing things out of the ordinary or outside the guidelines, someone would have said something. Also the wing belongs to MI and it appeared MI personnel approved of the abuse.” SGT Davis also stated that he had heard MI insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said he stated: “Loosen this guy up for us.” Make sure he has a bad night.” “Make sure he gets the treatment.” He claimed these comments were made to CPL Granier and SSG Frederick. Finally, SGT Davis stated that (sic): “the MI staffs to my understanding have been giving Granier compliments on the way he has been handling the MI holds. Example being statements like, “Good job, they’re breaking down real fast. They answer every question. They’re giving out good information, Finally, and Keep up the good work . Stuff like that.”

c. (U) SPC Jason Kennel, 372nd MP Company, was asked if he were present when any detainees were abused. He stated: “I saw them nude, but MI would tell us to take away their mattresses, sheets, and clothes.” He could not recall who in MI had instructed him to do this, but commented that, “if they wanted me to do that they needed to give me paperwork.” He was later informed that “we could not do anything to embarrass the prisoners.”

d. (U) Mr. Adel L. Nakhla, a US civilian contract translator was questioned about several detainees accused of rape. He observed (sic): “They (detainees) were all naked, a bunch of people from MI, the MP were there that night and the inmates were ordered by SGT Granier and SGT Frederick ordered the guys while questioning them to admit what they did. They made them do strange exercises by sliding on their stomach, jump up and down, throw water on them and made them some wet, called them all kinds of names such as “gays” do they like to make love to guys, then they handcuffed their hands together and their legs with shackles and started to stack them on top of each other by insuring that the bottom guys penis will touch the guy on tops butt.”

e. (U) SPC Neil A Wallin, 109th Area Support Medical Battalion, a medic testified that: “Cell 1A was used to house high priority detainees and cell 1B was used to house the high risk or trouble making detainees. During my tour at the prison I observed that when the male detainees were first brought to the facility, some of them were made to wear female underwear, which I think was to somehow break them down.”

f.  (S/NF) The various detention facilities operated by the 800th MP Brigade have routinely held persons brought to them by Other Government Agencies (OGAs)* without accounting for them, knowing their identities, or even the reason for their detention. The Joint Interrogation andDebriefingCenter(JIDC) at Abu Ghraib called these detainees “ghost detainees.” On at least one occasion, the 320th MP Battalion at Abu Ghraib held a handful of “ghost detainees” (6-8) for OGAs that they moved around within the facility to hide them from a visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey team. This maneuver was deceptive, contrary to Army Doctrine, and in violation of international law.
 view complete report
Please note that the investigator who revealed these criminal acts was himself forced to retire due to the displeasure of those in the chain of command.
For an outstanding documentary on both Abu Ghraib and GuantanimoBay(as well as other sites in Afghanistan), and how the procedures migrated from GITMO to Iraq, view “The Torture Question
Look for many other “Inconvenient Truth’s” about criminal conduct during the war’s, and, more importantly, HOW these criminal act’s came to be formulated…

Please listen to story about General Tagubu’s forced retirement as a consequence of his report on Abu Ghraib


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About SleepNoMore

"Orthodoxy means not thinking-not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." -1984
This entry was posted in Al Qaeda, CIA, Iraq, Terrorism, The Vault, Torture, War Crimes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Inconvenient Truth #18: What happened at Abu Ghraib

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